Monday, November 17, 2014

Matchmakers for religious schools in Israel

Assaf Romm writes

"The following article in Hebrew tells the story of the Haredi (ultra orthodox jewish) "yeshiva ktana" (=~ elementary school) students and the way they get accepted into "yeshiva gdola" (=~ high school):

The interesting parts are that there are many-to-one matchmakers that make a lot of money by cutting deals between students and high schools, and between elementary schools and high schools. For example, a deal can be getting a group of students from the same elementary school in which there are 12 excellent students and 3 mediocre students to an excellent high school, or paying the matchmaker certain amount of money for convincing excellent students to come to a certain high school. There are also reports of some of the students joining in by going to the matchmakers/elementary school teachers and asking to share the profit. Finally, there are also some mentions of unraveling, and an agreement to not start recruiting students before a certain date.

My thoughts about this: a centralized computer system might not be a good idea in this case, because of this population's complete mistrust in technology, because there isn't any centralized organization that governs all these activities, and because the transfers may make it very hard to achieve near-strategyproofness for both sides, which could be extremely important here."

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